Do expired agreements still apply?

Q&A

Do expired agreements still apply?

Expired enterprise agreements continue beyond their expiry date unless steps are taken to terminate them.

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Expired enterprise agreements continue beyond their expiry date unless steps are taken to terminate them.
 
The following question relating to an expired agreement was recently sent to WorkplaceInfo.

Our company employs the majority of our employees under an enterprise agreement. It has now passed its nominal expiry date.

Does this mean the agreement no longer applies and reverts to the applicable modern award or does the expired agreement continue to operate in the interim?

The crucial point here is the enterprise agreement has passed its nominal expiry date.

Under the Fair Work Act 2009, an enterprise agreement continues to operate after the nominal expiry date until it is replaced or terminated.

In this case, a party to the agreement (ie the employer, employees or an organisation (union)) may apply to the Fair Work Commission for the termination of the enterprise agreement because it has passed its nominal expiry date.
 
If an application for the termination of the enterprise agreement is made, the Commission must terminate the agreement if:
  • it is satisfied that it not contrary to the public interest to do so; and
  • it is considered appropriate to terminate the enterprise agreement — taking into account all the circumstances, including the views of the employees, the employer, and each employer organisation (if any), covered by the agreement and the circumstances of those employees, the employer and organisation(s) including the likely effect that the termination will have on each of them.
If the employer proposes an enterprise agreement to replace the existing agreement, the existing agreement will continue to apply until the new agreement is approved by the Commission.

If the enterprise agreement is terminated, but not replaced by a new enterprise agreement, the employees will be covered by the applicable modern award from the date the existing agreement is terminated by the Commission.
 

 
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